How dare you! Got your attention for a few seconds now? I've been reading a bit about glasses beers "should" be served in and the poor common shaker glass, the glass every American knows, is being kicked to the curb. I mean it was bound to happen. In my journey through the beer world, still a young-in to many, I've noticed something when using a shaker glass; it doesn't smell right.
So what, you're not there to smell beer! Yes I am, I (you) need those odorants to complete the true flavor of the drink. With the introduction to the craft world I noticed first that beers often smell better than they taste. Now that my flavor profile has evolved to enjoy many more beers one of the flavors I enjoy most is the smell. So to get back to the glass issue. Try a little experiment. Take a shaped glass, any glass like a wine glass with the nice curved in rim and a common shaker. fill them both with the exact same beer.
Look at the beer, chances are your shaker glass looks a little more clouded (thicker glass) where the wine glass will have a crisper look, colors a little brighter. Obviously don't use a super dark beer for this test, it will be harder to tell. Now smell the beer, which one smells better? This is really pronounced when using an IPA as the floral smells come out even more. Now taste the beers, first the shaker, inhale through your nose as you taste, now the wine glass... Which one was better? Your saying their the exact same beer, now give it to your friend, pose it as two different beers. which do they pick?
Most of the time the wine glass will be picked. The other thing I'm liking more is the shaped glasses, some have a bump at the base of the glass or Samuel Adams etches a line in the base. This causes the carbonation to cluster and rise from there, releasing it quicker than if it was in a standard shaker glass. More air being released the more smell into your nose as you drink. I know I sound crazy but give it a try. I didn't believe it either but it seems science wins out again and when you mix that science with a little bit of glass art beer drinking becomes an experience.
You probably can't have a glass for each type of beer in your fridge but hey I'm getting myself a good stemless snifter for my all propose glass, and it will easily double as a large wine glass.
Here are a couple sites that attempt to pair up glasses with types of beer.
Real Beer (I like theirs the best, it's a picture...)